For my husband and I a trip to Brooklyn means stopping at Joe's of Avenue U for some Pane e Panelli a Sicilian dish which is chickpea flour made into patties, fried and then eaten on a roll with some freshly squeezed lemon. It means going to Villabate to get some cartocci or maybe some gelato and most of all it means a stop at Coluccio's and Sons, an Italian market where we stock up on all the goodies we can't find on Long Island.
There we grab some cheeses, pera (a pear nectar), olives, bread and of course pasta. One of our favorites it the spinach and semonlina pasta which is a bi-colored pasta that is best paired with a nice alfredo sauce. We took it one step further and pan seared a little pancetta and tossed that into the sauce as well. The result it heavenly and really one of my favorite dishes ever.
It's a fairly simple dish to put together and quite honestly the only thing you need to compliment the meal is a nice piece of crusty Italian bread....and maybe some olives and soppressata.
Spinach Pasta with Alfredo Sauce
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes I Cook Time: 8 minutes
- 1 pound spinach and semolina bi-colored pasta
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup grated cheese (I like pecorino romano)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 ounce pancetta finely diced
Start off your dish by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Then in a large sauce pan over medium heat create a roux my whisking the flour into the melted butter. Add in the milk and water and whisk so you fully incorporate all of the ingredients. Lower the heat a bit and let the sauce cook down for a few minutes.
While the sauce is simmering toss the pancetta in a small frying pan with a small pat of butter. Lightly pan fry the pancetta over medium heat until it has become slightly golden. Add the pancetta and the remaining ingredients for the sauce into the saucepan and give everything a good stir.
Turn the heat on low and allow the sauce to thicken.
Toss your pasta into the boiling water and let it cook for 8 minutes (or until it is done to your liking). Drain the pasta and pour into a large serving bowl and generously cover with your sauce.
*Note - If your sauce does not get thick enough you can always add a little more flour in and whisk it in to incorporate it. Keep in mind flour can alter the flavor so you will have to compensate with more salt, pepper or cheese. Wondra is a great product to use to thicken sauces and it is completely flavorless!